Tacos and Quesadillas: 2 Kid-Friendly Recipes by Chef George Duran


George Duran, a Food Network chef and dad, shares two of his favorite recipes to cook with his young son: polenta-crusted fish tacos with spicy mango slaw and prosciutto, tomato, and basil quesadillas.


Polenta-Crusted Fish Tacos with Spicy Mango Slaw

fish tacos with mango slawServes: 2-3


2-3 pieces of tilapia, cut into 3-4 strips each
¾ cup polenta (or fine cornmeal)
1 teaspoon paprika
Olive oil
Cilantro and sliced radishes for garnish
4-6 corn tortillas

For spicy mango slaw:
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce, like Tabasco
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 pinch salt
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 mango, ripened but hard, peeled and chopped into matchsticks



1. Make the spicy mango slaw by mixing the first five ingredients until smooth and then mixing it with the cabbage and mango. Set aside.

2. Mix paprika and polenta together in a shallow bowl. Season tilapia strips with salt and press into polenta, making sure each strip is completely covered. Discard excess polenta. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in your sauté pan and, once it begins to smoke, add the tilapia. Fry the tilapia in batches, about 2-3 minutes per side, until slightly browned and fully cooked. Remove onto a paper-towel lined dish.

3. Heat corn tortillas in a tortilla warmer or oven. Assemble the tacos by placing some slaw in the center of the tortilla and one or two slices of tilapia on top. Top with cilantro leaves and radish. Serve.


Prosciutto, Tomato, and Basil Quesadillas

prosciutto quesadillaServes: 4


12 thin slices of prosciutto, finely chopped

1 cup packed fresh basil, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes, well drained

2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

4 8-inch flour tortillas



1. Plug in your quesadilla maker and allow to pre-heat.

2. Place one flour tortilla on the quesadilla maker and shred about ½ cup of cheese evenly onto the tortilla. Sprinkle about three chopped slices of prosciutto, a quarter of the drained diced tomatoes, and a ¼ cup of the fresh basil over the cheese. Add top flour tortilla and close quesadilla maker, allowing to cook between 3-4 minutes. Open and use a spatula to slide quesadilla onto a plate.

3. Repeat step 2 with your remaining tortillas and ingredients. Serve.


Also See:

Chef Duran's Top Tips for Parents with Picky Eaters